An in-progress exploration of the explosion of zombies in books, movies, games and more, as well as its social & cultural implications
Whether you're a fanatic or gobsmacked by their popularity, chances are you've wondered "What is the deal with the zombie apocalypse?!"
Well, we have too. As a matter of fact, we became so curious that two years ago, our director Adam Liss took this question to the UC Berkeley campus to get the thoughts of passers-by as to how they'd be the last person standing, and that short project became the impetus behind making a documentary on why zombies have taken on a(n after)life of their own.
Since Adam's afternoon on campus, he recruited producer pal Jaime Sena to start Man Alive Productions and in February of 2012, the two of them took to making a feature-length documentary that would offer insight not only into the zombie culture, but its deeper social and cultural implications as well.
Who We Are
Man Alive Productions is two people: Adam Liss and Jaime Sena. With the help of our friend and Director of Photography, Grant Thompson, we have a nimble team who has been able to meet with a lot of people and see some really amazing things all while being self-funded. So far. That's why we're doing this thing!
Where We're At
So far, we've already shot interviews with people who have written zombie books (Dr. Steven Schlozman), worked on zombie video games (Garth Chouteau of PopCap Games), and social commentators (Dmitry Orlov), as well as on-the-street interviews with people talking about their zombie plans. However, that's only about a third of the material we need, and there's still a whole lot of work that needs to be done.
What We Need
Financial support! Now, we have a vision for this film, and we're trying to achieve it while still keeping costs as low as possible. We own our own equipment, we stay with friends while we travel, and our dedicated production team is volunteering a lot of their time, working for little or no pay. (But don't tell our DP because he'll freak out.)
Right now, we're asking for $25,000. That would cover travel expenses, equipment costs, as well as hiring people to do the work we can't do ourselves. Trips to the mid-west to meet with survival training facilitators, to Monroeville, PA's Zombie museum, to L.A. to meet with entertainment staff of our favorite zombie shows... we have a lot of great ideas and connections but we need your help.
With this money, we believe we can make a movie that is informative, entertaining, and that actually provides some deep insights about the world we live in. Any additional money we get would be used to shoot more in-depth interviews, improve production value, and will almost certainly not be spent on beer.
RISKS AND CHALLENGES:
As a self-funded documentary, we have been well aware of the risks that are run by being an independent production. Reaching out to people sight unseen and asking them to have faith in our passion and dedication about the subject; setting up camp in the office of an interview subject you've only met in person 15 minutes beforehand; traveling with a small crew and a sort-of-small set of equipment; being adaptable and adroit enough to respond to things as they happen even if they derail the plan. It's not a job for lightweights!
We're good enough, we're smart enough, and gosh darn it -- people like us.
Seriously, though: we've been doing this on our own for a long time now and have gotten very far with very little. With Adam's technical eye and Jaime's tenaciousness, along with Grant's handy camerawork, we've created a compact and tight-knit team that is ready to take on this project and engage and enlighten everyone who comes into contact with it.